lazy wins again

I've been spending a lot of time focusing on the pond lately: looking for the fish, watching the toads (there are already tiny tadpoles swimming around), removing string algae, monitoring the progress of the plants around the perimeter. The plants that are in pots in the water though, I haven't been paying enough attention to them.

I had a feeling they needed to be repotted, as they went into relatively small pots this spring. So when I pulled two of them out of the water last weekend not only did I see that it was indeed time for more space, but I also got a surprise.


This umbrella plant (Cyperus involucratus) has been doing quite well, considering that I rescued it from the compost pile last fall when I visited Needmore bamboo. Even though it had been laying out in the open for several days drying out, I put it into a bucket of water indoors to revive it and grew it over the winter under lights.

You can see by the amount of exposed roots that this needs a bigger pot.

It's still producing new growth though:

If I wanted to make new plants from this I would just take divisions, making sure to include a section that has these new shoots on it. (The division can be as small as a single stem as long as there is also one of these new shoots.)

There are the seeds too:

Are they viable? I suppose they must be, so that's another way I can get more copies of this plant -- although they may not be identical to the parent due to genetic variation. That could be a good thing though.

What I didn't know is that there is another way for this plant to reproduce:

The stalks that had fallen over into the water have rooted and formed new baby plants!

I'm not sure how long they stayed submerged before they started growing, but it was probably a couple of weeks at least. I'm not too diligent about removing unattractive foliage like this, and in this case my laziness has paid off!

Here's another one that's just starting to form:

Now I'm wondering if my papyrus will reproduce in the same way... I'm going to bend one of those stalks down and put it into a bucket of water and see what happens.

Not that I need more papyrus -- I've got plenty of divisions -- but it would be nice to get a few small plants to overwinter instead of having to deal with the 6' tall chunks each winter.

Laziness sometimes is the best strategy in the garden.

(Note that Brad thought that this might be a different species, something closely related to Cyperus involucratus. I haven't been able to find information to back this up though. This plant is also called Cyperus alternifolius too, although that seems to be an older, wrong name. If anybody thinks my ID is wrong, please let me know!)


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Gardener on Sherlock Street  – (June 22, 2012 at 7:42 AM)  

It's always worth finding new ways to get more plants. Looks like your pond has great conditions for life.

danger garden  – (June 22, 2012 at 10:25 AM)  

Very interesting. Guess you know I'll be trying that, just to see if it works for me!

sandy lawrence –   – (June 22, 2012 at 1:07 PM)  

yes, the papyrus will do the same thing. Bury the 'bloom' upside down and kazam, a new plant.
Works in soil, too.

Alan  – (June 23, 2012 at 7:36 AM)  

Sandy: thanks for taking the excitement and anticipation out of my experiment. ;-) Thanks for the confirmation -- I've already got a couple of papyrus heads bent over into a bucket of water.

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